What Is Health And What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?

by admin on 3:41 AM

What is health? Is health defined by the size of your muscles or the broadness of your shoulders? Is health defined by the longevity of a disease-free life? Is health defined by the quality of your life and how happy and stress-free your life is?  Exactly what does it mean to be healthy? Health can mean so many things to so many different people. I personally like to divide health into 2 categories: long-term health and short term health.

What defines health? What does being healthy really mean?

what is health and what does it mean to you What Is Health And What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?Let’s start with short term health. When you walk into a gym, you will see people that look almost unnaturally muscular. When I first started working out, I was intrigued by these types of bodybuilders. Just their brute strength alone was incredible to me. Their muscles were so big that it seemed like their activities of daily life would seem nearly impossible. Imagining them play a sport or running around with their kids would seem like a monumental task. And I thought to myself, there is a reason our bodies were not meant to reach that size naturally or that quickly. There is a reason bodybuilding without supplements is a slow, tedious process that has an end point and a max, a plateau, and a point in which your body cannot adapt any further. Such observations have often led me to ask the questions of, “What is health?” and “What does it mean to be healthy?” What I actually mean when I say short term health is really false health. When I think of health, it goes past the carbs and fats and proteins. It goes past the size of your biceps and how defined your six pack is. Many of the people in the gym, such as the bodybuilder I described above, in my opinion, are living contradictions of what health is. The reasons for working out and going to the gym are endless but certain reasons are simply healthier than others. I believe the reasons for going to gym should be to be healthier and better about yourself. But when I see many of my acquaintances and fellow muscular, healthy looking gym members using harmful supplements, it really confuses me. These bodybuilders and athletes will have short-term health and will appear to be in great shape until one day, maybe 20 years from now, they will wake up in a hospital with heart problems and liver problems and will wonder to themselves, “Was it worth it?” I want to wake up 30 years from now feeling youthful and alive. I want to be able to see my kids and grand kids and be a part of their life.  I want to be healthy, and not just by external appearance, but internally as well. The reason we look more attractive to each other when we workout and exercise is because our bodies are wired to be attracted to healthier bodies. With the use of technology, appearance can be very misleading, but for the most part, a healthy body is a more attractive body.

Youthfulness and exercise often mask many problems in regards to both long term health and short term health. Most of my teammates on my collegiate basketball team consume terrible diets and still are in tip top shape. But how long will that last for? I could buy a Ferrari tomorrow and give it the cheapest gas and it will run perfectly for many years. Until one day it’ll hit the wall and it will be because of the poor fuel given to it. Our bodies work the same way. Therefore, when I view health, I like to think long-term health. Watch what you put into your body. Below is an example of many things bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts do that contradict health, in my opinion.

  1. Pre-workout supplements
  • These include supplements such as jack3d and No Xplode. Someone I know takes Jack3d on a regular basis and when he takes it he becomes an almost different person. He becomes jittery and nervous and cannot sit still. It contains Geranamine, which is a substance not regulated by the FDA and if taken improperly, can even cause stroke. Both No Xplode and Jack3d cause unsafe rises in blood pressure and heart rate which can lead to serious complications.

2. Pro-hormones and anabolic steroids

  • what is health steroids and bodybuilding What Is Health And What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?Besides the minor side effects such as increased acne, hair in places you don’t want them, or even man boobs, these anabolic substances may have consequences way more severe. Steroid use can cause liver and hormone malfunctioning, a dangerous increase in cholesterol (and therefore and increased risk of cardiovascular disease), and serious changes in behavior. Probably the most dangerous side effect of them all, however, is the stress put on the heart from an overly sized physique and body mass. These pro-hormones and anabolic steroids are perfect examples of substances that may not have the most severe short term health effects, but will undoubtedly have many negative long term effects.

3. Certain Protein Powders

  •   I say certain protein powders because not all protein powders are the same.  According to ConsumerReports.org about the popular protein drink Muscle Milk, “The samples of Muscle Milk Chocolate powder we tested contained four heavy metals–cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead–and levels of three metals in the product were among the highest of all in our tests. Three daily servings of Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème contained 12.2 µg of lead, exceeding lead limits, and 11.2 µg of arsenic. A fourth product, Muscle Milk Nutritional Shake Chocolate (liquid), provided an average of 14.3 µg of arsenic per day from three servings, approaching the proposed USP limit.” And Muscle Milk is not alone on this. Many other supplement company’s products also contain harmful chemicals and toxins. When choosing a protein powder, pay the extra dollar or two and get an all-natural protein powder with minimal ingredients and additives.

4. Processed Foods

  • This is not really relevant to getting muscular but I put it in here because I think it is very important. Stop eating processed foods and eat whole, natural foods! Humans were meant to consume foods found in nature, not food created in labs.

 

So what is health to you? What do you think it means to be healthy?

{ 3 comments }

Kym September 20, 2011 at 6:31 AM

What are some examples of processed foods? By abandoning them completely, need I only shop at Whole Foods? Or, what should I look for in the grocery store to avoid them?

admin September 20, 2011 at 7:22 AM

Well you can shop at any grocery store. You just have to be smart as to what you purchase. To be honest, in our society, avoiding processed foods altogether is almost unrealistic. However, if possible, always try to avoid foods that are processed. Processed foods include almost everything that comes in a sealed package. This includes chips, canned foods, frozen dinners, boxed meal mixes. Anything away from its natural state is processed. There are some processed foods that are healthy, including frozen vegetables, but for the most part, most processed foods, in my opinion, are unhealthy. When going to a grocery store, I would avoid the isles almost entirely. Try to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, lean meats, fish, greek yogurt, beans, nuts, and eggs. There are also some bars that are not too bad either. Lara bars are great choices, and as well as builder bars. There are also some other fruit and nut bars that I would recommend.

admin September 30, 2011 at 5:13 AM

To further elaborate on the response to the initial question about processed foods, keep in mind that “processed” implies that the particular food source has been put through a process to change or transform its quality and condition.

There are many foods that are unprocessed and packaged, however you will typically only find them in the natural foods section of your local grocery store or throughout a Whole Foods. Basically, if it is not a fresh fruit, vegetable, nut, seed, legume (beans), or grain, it is not a whole food. Animal products also count as whole foods, however the factory farming industry tends to raise unhealthy, disease-ridden animals which results in unhealthy animal products. If you do choose to indulge in animal products, organic, free range is your best option.

Also, remember that health is far more dynamic and broad than simply nutrition. If making healthy food choices is causing you stress, then you may be missing the point. The real “hard” work in health and wellness is emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Check in with yourself to see how you FEEL inside.

Best wishes. Thanks for checking out the site.

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